Mueller matrix polarimetry of electro-optic PLZT spatial light modulators

Elizabeth A. Sornsin, Russell A. Chipman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mueller matrix polarimetry has been used to determine operational efficiency and material quality in lead-lanthanum-zirconium-titanate (PLZT) electro-optic modulators. PLZT is a transparent, quadratic electro-optic ceramic which is a candidate for the next generation of electro-optic interconnects and modulating devices. The Polarimetry group at the University of Alabama in Huntsville has measured Mueller matrices for several sample devices. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the optical quality of the transmissive PLZT devices, determine the uniformity of the modulation across the active area, and calculate the quadratic electro-optic coefficients. High-resolution imaging polarimetry has demonstrated the uniformity of the polarizing and polarization-scrambling properties of a bulk PLZT spatial light modulator array. The Mueller Matrix Imaging Polarimeter (MMIP) was used to produce magnified maps of device regions; this data provides insight to the material uniformity, proper contact of drive electrodes, distribution of the applied electric fields, and quality of the surface. Light scattering from ceramic grain boundaries was also observed to result in some depolarization of light exiting the device. A single-channel Mueller matrix polarimeter measured spatially-averaged device performance for a range of applied operating voltages. This information easily determined the electro-optic coefficients for the modulating material. Several chemical vapor deposited thin-film PLZT devices were studied, and the quadratic electro-optic coefficients compared favorably to that for bulk PLZT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-201
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Aug 16 1996
EventInternational Symposium on Polarization Analysis and Applications to Device Technology 1996 - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: Jun 12 1996Jun 14 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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